What Does Your Workplace Look Like?

I am fascinated by the places people carve out for themselves when they work.

Whether it’s a rest bar a the Post Office, a cubicle, or a spot on an assembly line, we all tend to make nests out of our workplaces.

Writers, in particular, seem to give full vent to their creative nesting impulses when it comes to the places where they put words to paper. The Guardian published a fascinating article a few years ago with photos of different writer’s rooms, described in the writer’s own words. It turns out that famous writers work their magic while standing at lecterns, reclining in their beds, sitting elegantly in beautifully turned out offices and a bit everything in between. Some of them look out their office window at a beautiful view; others prefer to stare at a blank wall.

It seems that the literary muse like many different kinds of nests. But one thing each of these workplaces had in common was the sense of ownership the writer seemed to feel about it. It was “theirs” in a way that the rest of their houses were not. 

So it is with all of us. We humans feel a need to claim our turf. We are more comfortable if we sit in the same place at church, take the same desk at work and dine in the same corner of the company cafeteria. We take comfort from and even find a bit of peace in the predictability of having “our” place when we sit down to work. 

Maybe that’s why I found this article so fascinating. Or maybe it was just that I am such a dedicated nester. Home is important to me. Home is refuge, safety and peace. Even when I’m out and about, I like to have spots that are mine, where I can go and have at least a facsimile of home when I get there. 

My office at the Oklahoma state capitol is no exception. I deliberately chose an office that is a bit off the wide-open path. To get to my office, you have to work your way through a suite, including getting past my secretary. I filled it with things that have meaning to me and I regard it as a sort of retreat in that big, echoey building. There are times when I need to get away from the noise and bother of that place and think things through. I also need a retreat where I can pray. 

I spent hours looking at the photos of writer’s rooms in that article and reading their thoughts about their workplaces. Work is such an important part of all our lives. We spend a huge part of our waking time in these cubicles, offices and stations. That makes them important. 

Here’s a photo of my office. 

What does your workplace look like?


My messy office 2012  11085

  • Peg

    I love this. My office as my coworkers joke is a three room suite. It’s worked out that way through attrition. The first room is a state of the art video edit suite. Since we couldn’t paint the walls, I took covered wooden panels with bright fabrics and created wall art with old film reels to give it color and a contemporary feel. It’s really cool.

    The next room is a soundproofed mini studio and off that is my office. We uses to have an audio edit bay and radio show. Now it’s an office with built ins and great acoustics. I kept the amp and can play music while writing scripts. My coworkers enjoy the space to unwind or play bocci with track balls. I joke but It’s hard work writing, producing and editing a variety of audio and video productions. I love my job and my space.

    Outside we have forests, trails and ponds with lots of geese, turkey, deer and other critters– which is fitting for a state wildlife agency. All this provides a great environment to be creative.
    We’re not well paid but these are great fringe benefits.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      See if you can put up a photo Peg. I’d love to see it!

  • Sus

    What a nice office. I love the mirror.

    We remodeled a couple of years ago. I now have my own little den that I use as an office and craft room. It’s lovely having your own space! I haven’t had that since I left my parents’ home.

  • Peg

    Okay I’ll see what I can do.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    How did I miss this? I’m in engineering, and after 20 something years I finally got my own office as a project manager seven or eight years ago. It’s no where near as nice as yours but it’s private, I have a desk, a table, a white board, a couple of file cabinents, a bookcase, and even a little tiny refrigerator that we’re not supposed to have. I don’t have a window, but I’m not choosey. It’s also got papers and files all over the place. I cannot keep anything neat. I am so thankful to have my own little private space. I don’t even care about salary increases as long as I can keep my office. The working level engineers have cubicles.